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Will it be chaos at Sutton Bridge swing-bridge with roadworks for nearly six weeks?




Traffic on the A17 could be stuck in massive queues - or traffic entering Lincolnshire forced to divert via Wisbech - with a swing-bridge at Sutton Bridge due to be resurfaced.

Sutton Bridge Parish Council has been told Cross Keys Bridge will close to westbound (Norfolk to Lincolnshire) traffic from Monday, September 16 to Friday, October 25.

The parish council heard diversions have not yet been finalised - and there could yet be traffic light management to accommodate two-way traffic for the near six-week duration of the works.

The car (right) is entering Lincolnshire in the westbound lane
The car (right) is entering Lincolnshire in the westbound lane

The Victorian swing bridge is the only direct link from Lincolnshire to Norfolk.

Massive queues build up on the approach to the border crossing when the bridge is swung to allow boats to pass along the River Nene.

On the Lincolnshire side, tailbacks often stretch to the McDonald’s roundabout at Long Sutton.

The swing-bridge opens to river traffic - and closes to road traffic
The swing-bridge opens to river traffic - and closes to road traffic

Parish and county councillor Chris Brewis told Sutton Bridge Parish Council that queues had built up during two-way working during previous works on the bridge.

He said if two-way working is adopted this time, he has asked that the lights stay on green longer than previously to help minimise delays.

Coun Brewis said: “It is going to be a major piece of work which has to be done.”

Parish councillor Michael Booth works farmland on both sides of the county border and says a westbound closure will be “inconvenient”.

Cross Keys Bridge is the Lincolnshire/Norfolk gateway
Cross Keys Bridge is the Lincolnshire/Norfolk gateway

Coun Booth, who lives on the Lincolnshire side, says harvesting takes place in September.

He said: “We have got some land three miles over the other side of the bridge - at Walpole Cross Keys - and we are hoping to have it cleared before work starts on the bridge.”

Coun Booth said it wouldn’t be practical to go over the bridge and come back via Wisbech given the size and speed of farm machinery.

A sign on the historic swing-bridge
A sign on the historic swing-bridge

* On Wednesday we asked the county council for details of the traffic management plan but no information was sent in time for our deadline.

What do you think of the closure/diversion plan and how will you be affected? Please email lynne.harrison@iliffepublishing.co.uk



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